Court Orders Interim Forfeiture Of ₦5.3bn Linked To Firm In Kwara

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A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of the sum of ₦5,318,517,789 warehoused in a new generation bank.

Justice Tijjani Ringim made the order on Wednesday following an ex parte motion filed and argued by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Oyedepo.

Oyedepo linked the sum to a firm, Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd, located at 9, Orioko Ilorin Kwara State.

He added that it was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity as the firm has no known business endeavor.

He told the court that the money was deposited in three bank accounts in tranches of ₦1,407,182,797.00, ₦2,275,525,493.17 and ₦1,635,809,499.31.

The lawyer asked the judge to forfeit the sum to the Federal Government for 14 days in the interim and subsequently, permanently.

To this end, he applied for an order of court “directing the publication in any national newspaper the interim order…to enable any interested party in the sum sought to be forfeited to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of the funds should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria”.

Oyedepo backed his application with a four-page affidavit sworn to by an EFCC investigator, Adamu Usman Yusuf.

Justice Ringim in a bench ruling granted the application.

He then adjourned till September 29, for a report of compliance.

According to the affidavit, Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd was incorporated on November 18, 2010, with a registered address at No. 9. Orioko Ilorin, Kwara State.

Yusuf said: “That there is no business endeavour in the said address. That the Company is not carrying out any legitimate business but rather was primarily procured to retain proceeds of unlawful activities.

“Upon incorporation of the Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd, a corporate account was opened. The account started witnessing huge cash deposits which are not proceeds of a legitimate business but rather represent funds reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

“We invited the Managing Director of Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd vide a letter dated 3rd August 2021 which letter was acknowledged by one A. Muhamed.

“Till date, we have not received any objection or opposition from Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd to the Commission’s decision proceeding against the funds sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, same having been reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.”

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